July 13, 2021
The Indiana State Fair is back and so is the Indiana FFA Pavilion. FFA state officers and their leaders are excited to welcome other members to help them greet guests throughout the fair.
The Indiana State Fair runs from July 30 through Aug. 22 but will not open on Mondays and Tuesdays during the run. The FFA Pavilion, located on the north side of the fairgrounds, will be open during all days the state fair is open.
“We anticipate that the FFA Pavilion will offer what it has in the past,” says Tami Neighbors Ketchen, assistant director of Indiana FFA. It will be staffed each day with state officers and other FFA members from around the state. All will be ready and willing to answer questions and interact with fairgoers who visit the building.
Activities inside the building will include:
Mini golf. This has been a hit for years. The 18-hole golf course is so large, it extends outside the building. Anyone can play for free as many times as they like. The course features descriptive signs that help players learn about agriculture and FFA while trying their skills on the mini golf course.
Animal experience. One wing of the FFA Pavilion is devoted to various kinds of animals, including younger animals of many species. It gives people who don’t often encounter farm animals an opportunity to see them up close and personal. There will also be opportunities to feed the animals.
Themed exhibits. Come learn about various facets of modern agriculture at these exhibits. This year’s state officers will put their own touches on these exhibits, and some of them will be on hand each day to help answer questions. This section of the building also includes a play area where kids can play safely while their parents or grandparents watch them.
Member recognition. Displays throughout the FFA Pavilion will highlight current FFA members who have accomplished great things during their careers. You can learn more about them through photos and descriptions of their accomplishments.
Country market. Another wing of the FFA Pavilion is devoted to offering a variety of items like you would find at an old-fashioned country market. Many of the items for sale are made by Hoosier-based companies. Come by and enjoy some ice cream or cold cider. Proceeds from the country market support the Indiana FFA Foundation, and many of the young people employed there are FFA members.
A new activity called Build a Leader will debut in the FFA Pavilion this year. Sam Miller, director of the Indiana FFA Pavilion, says this activity is geared toward families who visit during the fair.
“It’s kind of like a ‘Wonder Trail’ just for our own building,” Miller says. “The idea is to help people get the most out of their experience when they come by to visit us.”
Here’s how it works. Families can work together, collecting stickers at different locations and exhibits within the FFA Pavilion. If they complete all the stops, the stickers will form the shape of a person — a leader.
Miller says it’s just one more way to encourage families to spend time in the building and learn about both FFA and agriculture.
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